The folks at the Kao Group can hardly contain themselves.
In April, the minds behind Kao Sushi & Grill in Coral Gables and J&J Fresh Kitchen in Boca Raton will open the first Kao Bar & Grill at 11 NE First Avenue in Hallandale Beach.
“I was born and raised in Miami and South Florida and, rather serendipitously, we came across this area on First Avenue in Hallandale Beach. We believe the space works perfectly for us and can be the next big thing,” general manager Dylan Burneo tells New Times. “We see this as a creative opportunity in an area that will be home to large art projects and open-minded people.”
Indeed, Kao Bar & Grill will be a creative spot. For starters, its 5,000-square-foot framework is made entirely of shipping containers. Layout-wise, the space will include an alfresco patio with wooden accents and a 14-seat bar. Inside, the main dining room is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. Adding that much more pizzazz are murals by Argentine visual artist Falopapas.
Burneo says the process to bring Kao Bar & Grill to life started just before the pandemic and, with the eight total shipping containers, it has been an exciting puzzle to piece together. On using shipping containers, he says, “there is so much potential and, in many ways, it’s like you’re given a Lego set. There is so much youthful energy involved and it’s been a great facilitator of creativity. Overall, it’s been a great experience.”
As for the opening menu, it’s been crafted as a “harmonious way of introducing Argentinian cuisine to a broader audience.”
“With a lot of Argentinian cuisine in the States, you know what you will get — steak, pasta dishes, and chorizo,” says Burneo. “We wanted to bring a twist. And yes, there will be steaks, including a beautiful tomahawk option.”
The spot will be open from Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. A happy hour will be available Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Beyond the opening, count on Kao Bar & Grill to diversify its events and offerings.
“I can see the space being prime for live entertainment and for watching sporting events, especially international ones,” says Burneo. “We’ll have shade, sun, and being in such a warm environment will be phenomenal for everyone.”
Kao Bar & Grill. 11 NE First Ave., Hallandale Beach; kaobarandgrill.com.Opening April 2023.